Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (543)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

543. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda districts and or stations in which gardaí have received training in coercive control prior to or following the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act 2018, in tabular form. [19793/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing An Garda Síochána, including the training of its members and civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.

The recently commenced Domestic Violence Act significantly strengthens the civil and legal protections available to victims. The offence of coercive control recognises that domestic violence is more than physical as it can also involve emotional abuse, humiliation or intimidation.

I am advised by the Commissioner that training was provided at Templemore Garda College to members of the Divisional Protective Services Units and Inspectors with the Domestic Abuse portfolio by Dr. Jane Monckton Smith, University of Gloucestershire, in relation to Domestic Homicide and their link to coercive control. This was part of a three day domestic abuse modular training programme for DPSUs and Domestic Abuse Inspectors that took place in the Garda College on 19 - 21 February 2019 and 26 - 28 February 2019.

In addition, training lectures are being delivered to Probationer Gardaí at the Garda College in Templemore by members of the Garda National Protective Services Bureau, prior to their postings. These presentations cover all aspects of domestic abuse and the key aspects of the new Domestic Violence Act, including coercive control. This means that every new member leaving the Garda College for their permanent stations will be familiar with the new Act.

Figures for this training to date are as follows:

Numbers trained in relation to the Domestic Violence Act 2018

Training

Numbers

Trainee Gardaí

206

Probationer Gardaí

158

DPSU (Divisional Protective Services Unit) personnel

107

I am further advised by the Commissioner that in terms of training and awareness, HQ Directive 014/2019 of 28th March 2019 gave approval for the commencement of the Continuous Professional Development core Programme for 2019. The Domestic Violence Act 2018 forms part of this programme, including the new offence of coercive control. Members of an Garda Síochána are currently undergoing "train-the-trainer" training in the area of coercive control, which will aid in the creation and delivery of organisational training.